I keep making the same mistake… will God forgive me?
Does God forgive repeated sin?
Evan sat on his bed, staring at his phone. He’d just screamed at his dad during their weekly conversation, and now a hot rush of guilt filled his mind. Over and over again he had tried to curb the anger he felt at his father for his parents’ divorce, but it seemed that every week he ended up ranting and shouting at his dad through the phone.
Evan bowed his head in prayer, to ask God for forgiveness. But then a horrible thought occurred to him – would God have had enough of forgiving Evan for his anger? Had he gone one step too far?
The struggle of sin
Many Christians find they make the same mistake repeatedly. This is especially so if you have years of bad habits to overcome. So if you are feeling like Evan, rest assured, you are not alone in this struggle. The apostle Paul writes about the struggle between a mind which wants to serve God and a sinful nature which just keeps on sinning.
A message of hope
But, Paul also writes that Jesus Christ delivers him from this body of death (Romans 7:24-25). So Jesus’ blood is quite powerful enough to wash away ALL your sin, even repeated sins. You are NEVER beyond forgiveness.
Fighting repeated sin
Despite the certainty of God’s forgiveness, you must repent sincerely. The idea that God cannot be mocked (Galatians 6:7) basically means that God sees right through someone who is not repenting sincerely. SOMETIMES, repeated sin can be an indication that the person hasn’t really repented, and is only saying that they repent. God is not fooled by that.
Repeated sin is a sign that you have a particular weakness to that sort of temptation - and we all have it to varying degrees. For some it may be anger, for others it may be jealousy. That you continue to sin in the same way should indicate that you need to work particularly hard in that area not to sin.
Pray that God will help you overcome the sin, and then take practical steps to avoid it. Try to work out what situations, decisions, activities or friends lead you into this sin, and then take steps to avoid them. That way you won’t even get close to it. It is a good idea to tell a Christian friend about the sin so they can pray with you and encourage you. That would obviously need to be someone you could trust to keep it confidential. And if you fall into sin, turn back to God and ask for forgiveness and then keep trying - remembering that a day will come when it will no longer be a problem.
God is always ready to forgive, but we must never get complacent about sin and think it doesn’t matter. Rather, we do whatever we can to avoid temptation and deal with sin when it happens.
Edited from a Q&A written by christianity.net.au